Seven weeks after have my stoma and more and more I’m forgetting about it. Of course there are plenty of opportunities for it to remind me it’s there such as filling up with gas overnight or decided to let out wind during the quiet part of a film!
State of the Stoma
For the past few weeks the skin around the stoma had been a little irritated and because of some natural creases in the skin, some parts were redder than others. It wasn’t sure and the skin wasn’t broken but as I’m not sure what is normal and abnormal I made an appointment with the stoma nurse to get it checked out.
It turned out that the hole on the colostomy bag was perhaps a little too large so the poop coming into contact with the skin could be causing the irritation. I was sent on my way with a box of newly cut bags and within just a few days I could see improvements in the quality of the skin around the stoma.
The Stoma at Seven Weeks
I’ve been continuing to walk and swim but starting this week I’ve tried out running on a treadmill. Things have been healing well in the abdominal area and the only issue I was getting was a slight pain on the right side. I checked with a nurse who confirmed that there was nothing untoward in the area and the pain appeared to be localised to the end of the large wound across my pelvic bone. It was most likely an internal stitch or two that hadn’t dissolved.
I felt reassured by this and even though I’d been holding off trying to run I decided to try out a mile on the treadmill. After a 10 minute warm up of walking and light jogging I picked up the pace and started running at around 10 minute mile pace. I was wearing a support belt and things felt good in the abdominal area with only some comfort in the coccyx due to having to shift my weight when sitting down because of the Ken Butt.
Two days later I tried running again at around the same pace but this time running a bit further (2 miles). This time again I had discomfort in the abdominal area but also no issues with the coccyx. This run felt much better although I need to work on rebuilding my fitness levels!
Prior to surgery, whenever I ran I would inevitably get the dreaded runner’s trots around 1-2 miles into a run and would be forced to find a toilet, or a bush, pronto! Would surgery solve this problem or would my bowels still become active after a couple of miles and start to fill up the bag? I was keen to find this out as suffering with it had become such a handicap during running.
It’s early days yet but after completing a 1 and 2 mile run, I didn’t have any issues at all, my bowels were well behaved and I actually completing forgot about worrying what would happen and concentrated on enjoying the runs.
Swimming and Showering
I’ve been swimming a few times and have no issues whatsoever having the bag on display but after those swims I would wait until I got home before showering. This was partly due to the enclosed male changing rooms being shut and only shared showering facilities being available and also because part from a nurse seeing my new Ken Butt, nobody else had seen it. Even I’ve never really had a good look at it!
After the last time swimming I decided that I would showering at the swimming pool. Life is too short to worry about what people think so it was bag out, Ken Butt out and jump in the showers with everyone else! Of course, nobody cared and one guy was in his 60s and had a full bodysuit of tattoos so I’m sure he was more than used to people looking at him.